Personal Giving Stories
MEETING AN ACUTE NEED NOW
When Carolyn Schnirring Dungan graduated from college, she told her parents, “I’m moving to Indianapolis.” And off she went.
Her surprised parents, Bill and Mary Schnirring, would eventually have reason to be happy for her decision—if only because, when Carolyn returned to Springfield, she brought her husband, Dan Dungan, with her. Dan came to work at the family business, Springfield Electric Supply Company, and today; more than 30 years later, he is a senior vice president with the company.
During that time, Carolyn and Dan have become deeply engaged in the fabric of the community—and that includes supporting the community financially and as volunteers. For Carolyn, philanthropy was as much a part of her childhood as birthday parties and piano lessons. “It was a family thing,” she says, “to give back to the community.”
Since marrying Carolyn, Dan has come to value the immense satisfaction that comes from making a difference in people’s lives. “We have a responsibility to make things better for the next generation,” Dan says.
The Dungans are encouraging students through scholarships. “A scholarship sets students on a path,” Carolyn says, “and they are so appreciative. That’s what is really important to us—that these kids get the opportunity for an education.”
Inspired by their two children, Caitlin and Colin, the Dungans have designated their scholarship for students in the arts. Caitlin—along with Carolyn—has always been involved in music, and Colin majored in art history in college. “For a strong education,” Carolyn says, “the arts are just as important as math and science.”
To fund their scholarships, Dan and Carolyn are using a multi-year pledge. Part of their pledge is building an endowed scholarship fund that will help generations of students, and the rest funds a current scholarship that is available to students immediately.
“Other forms of giving, like a bequest or charitable trust, are great in 25 or 30 years,” Dan says, “but if people can find it in their heart to help with a pledge today, that’s important too. The need is so acute. We can do this now and upgrade over time.”
Indeed, students now and well into the future will have Carolyn and Dan Dungan to thank for giving them the opportunity for a college education and to reach their full potential.
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